This is a representation of my development as an instructor while participating in the Preparing the Professoriate Program during the 2014-2015 school year. Preparing the Professoriate (PTP) is an immersive, flagship program at NC State University that gives Ph.D. students the opportunity to develop their teaching skills by observing one or more excellent faculty members for a semester and then teaching their own courses.
I observed and co-taught “Introduction to Ecology” with Prof. Thomas Wentworth in the fall 2015 semester, operating essentially as a professor to over 200 students.
In spring 2015, I designed and taught an urban ecology course to advanced undergraduates under the guidance of Prof. Nick Haddad. During this same time, I taught a second section of this course as an honors section for the “Introduction to Ecology” course.
I chose to participate in the PTP program because excellence in teaching is a critical responsibility in the natural sciences, especially now, as humans are a dominant force shaping the biosphere. Teaching at the university level is an opportunity to discuss natural history, the process of science, and cutting-edge research, and, equally, to learn about the natural history students have experienced.
In my urban ecology classes, I watched students grow from not knowing how to read a scientific paper at the beginning of the semester to critically assessing papers and imagining next steps for research. One of my key accomplishments was creating an open classroom environment in which students felt comfortable being wrong, something I have found to be integral to learning.
This portfolio serves as a guide for what I have learned from students and vice versa. If you hover over the “Teaching Portfolio” menu, the sub-categories detail my teaching interests and philosophy, evidence of teaching and learning in my classes (including all peer and faculty observations of my teaching), and professional development activities. My hope is that these artifacts document my evolution as an instructor from the beginning to the end of this intensive teaching experience.
Description of teaching contexts
Introduction to Ecology (PB/BIO 360), Co-instructor (200+ students)
Ecology of Cities: How organisms die, cope, flee, or evolve and what it means for our future (BIO 495; PB/BIO 360) Honors Section, Instructor (11 students)
Introduction to Ecology (PB/BIO 360) Honors section, Instructor (9 students)